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Best Business Bank Accounts in Germany

TOP 5 German Bank Accounts for Businesses and Freelancers

As a business owner in Germany, it is recommended to have a business bank account (Geschäftskonto). The separation of your business bank account from your personal bank account will enable you to track and record specific business transactions, allowing you to easily maintain a tidy balance sheet of your business finances. Below, we’ve narrowed down our top 5 favorite bank accounts for freelancers and the self-employed.

 Business Bank AccountFee  
Kontist German business accountKontist€0.00 / month
Holvi business account German freelancerHOLVI€0.00 / month
FYRST German business bank account FYRST€0.00 / month
commerzbank business account germanyCommerzbank KlassikGeschäftskonto€0.00 / month
Penta free business account GermanyPenta€9.00 / month

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Why should you open a business bank account?

It is recommended for freelancers, self-employed, and small businesses to have two separate accounts; a business bank account “Geschäftskonto” for business purposes and a private bank account “Privatkonto” for private personal uses. A business bank account will ease the process of filing taxes by allowing you to compile all business transactions in one place. Use the business bank account to complete transactions such as sending invoices, receiving payments, making business-related purchases, and paying your salary. Having a business account will help you maintain an organized record of your business finances which is especially beneficial when filing taxes. It will also allow you to set some income aside to use toward future taxes. There are many digital banks that have simplified the process of opening a new business account. In the graph above we have outlined our favorite business bank accounts.

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German business bank account freelancer

Why should you open an account with a German bank?

If you are a citizen from the European Union (EU), you will be able to use your bank account from home to make transfers or withdraw money. However, many German clients prefer a German bank account because they feel safer and transactions also process faster than when sending them to a different (EU-)country.

It can be challenging to find the right bank for your needs, because Germany has many different banks, which offer different perks and charge different fees.

As a freelancer, you might not have a huge amount of account activity or need all the features that some banks offer. Keep your banking fees to a minimum by strategically choosing a bank with a no-monthly fee.

When should you open your business account?

If you are self-employed or run a small business, you are first required to register your business “Gewerbe” with the local trade office or “Gewerbeamt” then you will register your business with the German Tax Authorities or “Finanzamt”. You will receive a tax-ID or “Steuernummer”, this tax-ID will allow you to apply for a business bank account through most banks.  

 

Freelancers “Freiberuflich”, on the other hand, are not required to register a business but are required to register as a freelancer with the German Tax Authorities or “Finanzamt”. Once you are registered you will receive a tax-ID or “Steuernummer”.  In this case, it is not required to open a business account, however, it is still beneficial for accounting purposes.

Most banks require the following documents to open a business bank account: 

  • Europe ID card or passport
  • Official registered address in Germany 
  • German Tax ID number (Steuer-ID)
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What features should I look for?

  • Easy sign-up.
  • No monthly fee.
  • Online account management. (Monitor, make payments, send an invoice)
  • Customer Support in English.
  • Cashback Rewards.
  • Free Mastercard.

  • Account maintenance fee (Kontoführungsgebühr)
  • Debit / Credit card fee (Kartengebühr)
  • Cash withdrawal fees (from third party banks) (Bargeldabhebung)
  • Overdraft credit interest rate (DispoKredit Zinssatz)
  • Wire transfer / Bank giro transfer fee (Überweisungsgebühr)

What are possible fees with a German bank?

When choosing your German bank, you should pay attention to the various fees they may charge you. Banks can charge you fees of all sorts, for example a general handling fee, fees for your debit card, and sometimes even fees for receiving money. Most banks do not charge fees anymore, but there are still major differences in account maintenance, overdraft credit, and card fees. On the left hand side you can see an overview of fees you should look out for.